Wednesday, 3 November 2021

An Unlikely Hero!

Another night, another match! Fresh from the previous evening's Kenilworth A v Kenilworth B match, three of the combatants were back at the Abbey Club as part of our Coventry League team for a Division 1 encounter against a strong Nuneaton A team. But it was the 4th person - not considered good enough for either A or B the previous day - who would prove to be the hero!

Yes, step forward club living legend Bernard R, who scored an excellent win on Board 4 over Nuneaton stalwart Colin Green. I say excellent, because it was a win, and really that's all that matters. In fact, Bernard had offered a draw not long before, but Colin was trying to annex Bernard's isolated a pawn and decided to play on. And then, apparently with plenty of time to spare, just walked into a humungous knight fork which cost a whole rook. And unlike Phil's notorious winninbg knight move of years' back, this one was actually quite legal. Tricky things, knights!

We consolidated soon after when Mike drew against Tony Green. I could possibly have forecast this result, though not the way it would have arisen, as things were very unbalanced for a number of moves, as Mike advanced a pawn to d6 where it would likely be a game winner or just fall off. It definitely wasn't the former, but even if the second option came true (which I have no idea about), it wasn't enough to derail the draw.

I then drew against Phil Briggs on top board after a very tense and exciting game, where I thought way too long at some crucial stages of the game, and fully confirmed Bent Larsen's aphorism, "long variation, wrong variation". I missed playing a great shot in the opening, after which my position looked very dodgy for a good few moves, before I was able to get my two bishops into the game. I then came within a whisker of winning a piece, and then of winning a pawn and establishing a rook on the seventh. But Phil just managed to counter my threats in time and we agreed a draw when an opposite bishops ending was about to appear on the board.

Unfortunately, though, Ben had been struggling against Paul Davies on Board 3 all night. You know things are not going well when you see a Black rook on f8, with the Black king still on e8. Paul was pressing on the kingside and the queenside. Oh yes, and in the centre as well. I didn't see the denouement, but its not surprising that something had to give eventually.

Never mind, a drawn match was very respectable in the circumstances, and leaves us on 5/6 as we head for two more matches against Warwick University to round out the pre-Xmas fixtures. Next week it's the potentially super-strong Uni A team, followed by the mysteriously named Uni R team. All will be revealed, team-name wise, in due course!

I'm afraid that this is the only suitably titled song I've been able to find. Sounds pretty dreadful to me, but hopefully at least one reader will like it! Though they may need to be tone deaf.

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